New Dragonfly Black and Red Discussion
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MartynB85

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Short answer: it'd depend on your headphones, format and choice of music, and ears. If you can expand a bit on what you are currently using, we can give you some better tailored answers.

I would mostly be using my RHA T20's, using Tidal on my iPhone 7. Listen to most genres, alot of movie/tv soundtracks lately. May use it with my Elears when I don't want my Mojo in my pocket.
 
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CluelessAudio

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Sorry to hear that you were disappointed. I feel especially bad because I was one of the guys who had really spoken positively about the differences specifically on a MacBook. I do still believe that I hear a noticeable difference, but I should have mentioned that I listen mostly to jazz, classical, and classic prog rock. Perhaps those genres are more sensitive to DAC differences. Anyway, sorry if I steered you wrong!
Don't worry! It's not your fault I'm hard of hearing :p I'll keep an eye out for any other dacs by Audioquest in the future, they can only get better, i hope.
 
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Slaphead

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I would mostly be using my RHA T20's, using Tidal on my iPhone 7. Listen to most genres, alot of movie/tv soundtracks lately. May use it with my Elears when I don't want my Mojo in my pocket.

The T20s are driven perfectly fine by the iPhone itself, and that headphone adapter that comes with the iPhone 7 is already pretty good by all accounts. One thing you need to remember is that if you have the T20i variant then the inline controls will no longer work, and nor will you be able take calls using the T20's microphone.

IMO the main reason for buying a Dragonfly, or something like it, is to enable the use of relatively difficult to drive headphones with a laptop or mobile device. If the headphones that you're currently using are already driven well by your existing source then really the only difference is likely to be a slight change in tonal presentation, which you may or may not like.

IME The Dragonfly, really comes into it's own with headphones that need more oomph than the inbuilt headphone port can supply. The difference between the Dragonfly and my iPods built in headphone port is night and day with my Beyerdynamic DT1770 Pros, with the Dragonfly producing a far more dynamic and detailed presentation, whereas the output from the iPod is pretty lifeless. With other headphones that the iPod already drives fine then there's very little difference.

I suppose a general rule of thumb is that if you need to push the volume level of the source device beyond 75% to get an adequate listening volume then you should consider a Dragonfly. If, on the other hand, you already get a perfectly listenable volume at 50% - 75%, or less then the Dragonfly is unlikely to make a night and day difference.

It's not just about volume though, it's also to do with the dynamics. Powering a headphone that needs a high volume setting from the source is likely to be lacking in dynamics and will likely sound flat and lifeless in it's general presentation, and this is where the Dragonfly (or any external DAC/Amp) comes in. With more power on tap it's able to do a better job of controlling the headphones drivers at equivalent perceivable volumes leading to a more dynamic presentation.

I do think that people really need to consider exactly why they need an external DAC/Amp, because it may not be the magic bullet that you're looking for depending on your headphones. In fact I'd say if the headphones you have are already driven fine by your DAP, then it's likely that looking into upgrading your headphones will bring more to the table than an external DAC/Amp will ever do.
 
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stuck limo

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OK, I finally got a Dragonfly Black for portable use with the S7. I am ecstatic to report that the DFB works with UAPP, Spotify, and Poweramp Alpha 703. I am using it right now with ATH-M40x headphones on Spotify. I am not ecstatic to report that the DFB is extremely thin, metallic sounding, and tinny. I bought this used, so I don't know the amount of burn in time. I'll run this all day tomorrow and hopefully that fixes it.
 
Also, on the laptop issue with the volume being too loud at Level 2....anyone got any workarounds or fixes for this? Literally at Level 3 it's bordering on too loud. On Level 4 it's essentially there. I don't have this issue with the Geek Out 2A DAC.
 
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nealh

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The T20s are driven perfectly fine by the iPhone itself, and that headphone adapter that comes with the iPhone 7 is already pretty good by all accounts. One thing you need to remember is that if you have the T20i variant then the inline controls will no longer work, and nor will you be able take calls using the T20's microphone.

IMO the main reason for buying a Dragonfly, or something like it, is to enable the use of relatively difficult to drive headphones with a laptop or mobile device. If the headphones that you're currently using are already driven well by your existing source then really the only difference is likely to be a slight change in tonal presentation, which you may or may not like.

IME The Dragonfly, really comes into it's own with headphones that need more oomph than the inbuilt headphone port can supply. The difference between the Dragonfly and my iPods built in headphone port is night and day with my Beyerdynamic DT1770 Pros, with the Dragonfly producing a far more dynamic and detailed presentation, whereas the output from the iPod is pretty lifeless. With other headphones that the iPod already drives fine then there's very little difference.

I suppose a general rule of thumb is that if you need to push the volume level of the source device beyond 75% to get an adequate listening volume then you should consider a Dragonfly. If, on the other hand, you already get a perfectly listenable volume at 50% - 75%, or less then the Dragonfly is unlikely to make a night and day difference.

It's not just about volume though, it's also to do with the dynamics. Powering a headphone that needs a high volume setting from the source is likely to be lacking in dynamics and will likely sound flat and lifeless in it's general presentation, and this is where the Dragonfly (or any external DAC/Amp) comes in. With more power on tap it's able to do a better job of controlling the headphones drivers at equivalent perceivable volumes leading to a more dynamic presentation.

I do think that people really need to consider exactly why they need an external DAC/Amp, because it may not be the magic bullet that you're looking for depending on your headphones. In fact I'd say if the headphones you have are already driven fine by your DAP, then it's likely that looking into upgrading your headphones will bring more to the table than an external DAC/Amp will ever do.

For me the purchase of an amp/DAC would be to help drive at lower volumes more detail clarity and sound stage. I do not like listening a high volumes so I want to try to maximize My low-volume listening experience.

Do you think the dragonfly black would be able to do this? Or even the red?
Thank you
 
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SpiderNhan

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For me the purchase of an amp/DAC would be to help drive at lower volumes more detail clarity and sound stage. I do not like listening a high volumes so I want to try to maximize My low-volume listening experience.

Do you think the dragonfly black would be able to do this? Or even the red?
Thank you
I definitely notice much more detail and clarity from the Dragonfly Red over my Samsung Galaxy Note, and a little less so for my Galaxy S6 Active. For sensitive headphones and IEMs the low output impedance of the Dragonfly will help with lowering the noise floor which will help increase details as well.

I should note that most of my headphones lean toward warmer, darker sounds and the brightness and clarity of the Dragonfly's Sabre DAC melds well with my gear.
 
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The T20s are driven perfectly fine by the iPhone itself, and that headphone adapter that comes with the iPhone 7 is already pretty good by all accounts. One thing you need to remember is that if you have the T20i variant then the inline controls will no longer work, and nor will you be able take calls using the T20's microphone.

IMO the main reason for buying a Dragonfly, or something like it, is to enable the use of relatively difficult to drive headphones with a laptop or mobile device. If the headphones that you're currently using are already driven well by your existing source then really the only difference is likely to be a slight change in tonal presentation, which you may or may not like.

IME The Dragonfly, really comes into it's own with headphones that need more oomph than the inbuilt headphone port can supply. The difference between the Dragonfly and my iPods built in headphone port is night and day with my Beyerdynamic DT1770 Pros, with the Dragonfly producing a far more dynamic and detailed presentation, whereas the output from the iPod is pretty lifeless. With other headphones that the iPod already drives fine then there's very little difference.

I suppose a general rule of thumb is that if you need to push the volume level of the source device beyond 75% to get an adequate listening volume then you should consider a Dragonfly. If, on the other hand, you already get a perfectly listenable volume at 50% - 75%, or less then the Dragonfly is unlikely to make a night and day difference.

It's not just about volume though, it's also to do with the dynamics. Powering a headphone that needs a high volume setting from the source is likely to be lacking in dynamics and will likely sound flat and lifeless in it's general presentation, and this is where the Dragonfly (or any external DAC/Amp) comes in. With more power on tap it's able to do a better job of controlling the headphones drivers at equivalent perceivable volumes leading to a more dynamic presentation.

I do think that people really need to consider exactly why they need an external DAC/Amp, because it may not be the magic bullet that you're looking for depending on your headphones. In fact I'd say if the headphones you have are already driven fine by your DAP, then it's likely that looking into upgrading your headphones will bring more to the table than an external DAC/Amp will ever do.
 
Well said, and especially true for portable dac/amp solutions, as outdoors with the noise and all it is even harder to discern a difference. Couple that with less detailed recordings, or lower res files, and much of the improvement is lost.
 
As a little counterpoint, however, in my experience it's very easy to get lost in the analytical side of listening after purchasing a new piece of audio gear, which usually results in mixed feelings and confusion: the improvements one expected don't seem to be there etc. etc. After a couple of weeks of usage, with the paranoia settled, going back to the previous setup usually results in a much more audible difference. 
 
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Duncan

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Got to say that the DFR and SoundMagic E80 (connected to my phone, using UAPP) gives me - using the over cliched percentages, about 95% of what I want out of my music on the move, but - with a 20% bonus for form factor...

I bounce around more than Tigger does, when it comes to setups and so forth, but - right now, the mini combination I have here is a real winner :)
 
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ronrontan

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Hi, I am using LG V20 which comes with the ES9218 DAC from ESS. While waiting for the Android-Audioquest fix, this is an excellent,no, marvelous solution. Saves me from carrying around my pouch w DFR and USB-C Connectors.
Cheers, Ronny Tan
 
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Duncan

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Maybe I'm just lucky, but I have no problem at all with my DFR, but all I use is UAPP, so maybe they've just licked it
 
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psikey

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Have good news on the DFR (and DFB). I asked Audioquest a few questions and just had reply below:
 
 
 
Dear Andrew,
 
The software update, which will be available to download for free via the Desktop Manager app on our website: http://www.audioquest.com/dragonfly-series/#downloads will be available in a week or so.  This will update both the volume issue and MQA.  If you registered your Dragonfly, you will receive an email when it's available.
 
Please note: you will need to use a suitable media player, such as Tidal or Audirvana Plus, to play MQA files.  This is because MQA requires a decoder and a renderer to play a file.  The renderer is built into the Dragonfly and the decoder is built into the media player's software.  Once updated, your Dragonfly will glow a beautiful shade of blue to let you know you're playing an MQA file.  MQA files are played in the same resolution as they were recorded in.
 
Best regards,
 
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Duncan

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Interesting... Not that I have access to any MQA sources, but good to see that it can be "added" to the DFs :hugging:
 
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Citsur86

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  Have good news on the DFR (and DFB). I asked Audioquest a few questions and just had reply below:
 
 
 
Dear Andrew,
 
The software update, which will be available to download for free via the Desktop Manager app on our website: http://www.audioquest.com/dragonfly-series/#downloads will be available in a week or so.  This will update both the volume issue and MQA.  If you registered your Dragonfly, you will receive an email when it's available.
 
Please note: you will need to use a suitable media player, such as Tidal or Audirvana Plus, to play MQA files.  This is because MQA requires a decoder and a renderer to play a file.  The renderer is built into the Dragonfly and the decoder is built into the media player's software.  Once updated, your Dragonfly will glow a beautiful shade of blue to let you know you're playing an MQA file.  MQA files are played in the same resolution as they were recorded in.
 
Best regards,
Awesome thanks for sharing - although they are missing their end of January date!  We waited this long, what's another week I guess?  Is it weird that I'm excited for the blue glow?  No more having to check Tidal for Masters text.
 
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W4RW0LF47

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As long is only a week. I hope they release the update!

Saludos

Enviado desde mi Nexus 6 mediante Tapatalk
 
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shootertwist

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I know there's no definite answer for now since its not yet available, but in theory if mqa is added to our dragonfly red/black and tidal's mobile app gets updated to also allow mqa, will the iphone be able to play those mqa albums via tidal and feed it directly to the dragonfly? Hope its possible :) i think via android uapp its possible since they have tidal integration, i wonder if the iphone can do the same :)
 
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